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I would suggest that "urgency" not be spoken in the same breath as "pan pan". Urgency implies that some action must be taken immediately to prevent dire consequences, and that's a MayDay situation. There is no urgency to a "pan pan" situation, it is just a warning that there is a problem which MAY degenerate and MAY require aid or attention.
Very much like putting up a "CAUTION: WET FLOORS" sign when you're mopping a hallway.
My engine is out, my halyards are fouled, it is 10AM and the weathercast calls for squalls by 4PM and there's a lee shore. That's a pan-pan, I'm in no danger and given six hours I can probably deal with the engine or halyard. But I know the Coast Guard has been busy as all hell and I want them to be aware, if I haven't gotten things fixed by 3PM...I'm going to be in a different situation.
It then becomes their call, do they attend to my disabled vessel now (no, under Reagonomics they'll refer a tow company) while things are slow? Or wait to see the window on those squalls and lee shore close?
Weather changes, squall forecast cancelled, tide shifts out and I'm ust gonna get cold and hungry waiting for the next tow boat? Them I'm still a pan-pan, NO URGENCY, NO DISTRESS.
If no one is going to die, and nothing is going to sink, there's no urgency and no distress call. There may be a huge incovenience--but that's all.
Last edited by hellosailor; 09-15-2011 at 03:41 PM.